Friday, December 11, 2009

Team Yoga Sessions-Athletes

I've done this before in the past and have alot of fun in working with athletes. Team sessions are interesting as the team dynamic can be very powerful or sometimes need to be worked upon-this often becomes quite apparent in a team yoga session. Yoga, unlike activities that focus on strength or cardiovascular components has the ability to balance the body, mind & spirit. These aspects are critical to athletes-being physically in shape does not often equate to mental concentration nor does it mean being injury free. I'm taken back by the number of athletes I meet that have chronic back, neck, knee, wrist, shoulder and hip problems. I find it distressing to meet a 20 year old hockey player who has back problems that will affect his/her career, particularly when this could have been avoided.

What are the benefits of yoga to athletes?

Yoga improves lung capacity.
Yoga improves circulation, concentration, strength and flexibility.
Power yoga develops upper body and core strength and lower body and spinal flexibility. This is vital in preventing injuries and reducing time the body needs to heal.
This mixture of strength and flexibility prepares the cardiovascular system and muscles for peak performance.
Yoga invites awareness and understanding of our minds, bodies, and actions. Focus, visualization, and self understanding can help train the mind for competition and to improve confidence and focus.
Yoga teaches you how link movement to breath: creating more efficient movements, and increasing speed.
Gentle Yoga rejuvenates tired muscles and repair sports injuries.

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